Barbera is a type of red grape planted for the making of red wine. It has gained prominence in the 21st century to take the third position when compared to other red wine grape varieties grown in Italy. Some of the reasons associated with its growing fame include low tannin content, high acidic content and its deep color. It does not disappoint in terms of its yield which are generous. Barbera vines are strong and hardy and have been to survive for more than a century. These vines produce grapes which are ideal for making wines with a lot of tannin, fruity and can be aged for a long time. This is different from the young vines which are recognized for their deep aroma of fresh red and blackberries. Light versions of these Barbera wines are not aged and they are famous for their distinct aromas of dried and fresh fruit .For aging purposes, oak barrels which have been toasted are used thereby changing the flavors and aroma to hints of vanilla notes coupled with the ability to age.
Barbera: Popular Growing Regions
Barbera owes its origin in Italy. It was introduced in America by Italian immigrants in the 19th and 20th century where it gained prominence in California. In California, it is one of the most famous piemontese grapes where it is widely planted in the central valley. In Italy, it is widely grown in Asti and Monferrato areas. This is because these areas have a warm type of climate favorable for growing Barbera. Barbera is grown in small quantities in Europe especially in areas such as Greece and Romania. Some of these grapes are also planted in the country of Israel. It also does well in Australia in areas of Victoria.
Barbera: Favorable Conditions
Barbera has a high acidic content and it thrives well in warm climates without the risk of producing flat wines. The vine is famous for its generous yields therefore it has to be tamed by pruning. This is because if it is left to produce generously, the quality of fruits will be poor and heighten the sharpness and natural acidity of the grape. Barbera is generally harvested in late September. Winemakers have been deviating from this and waiting for the grapes to become overripe in order to harvest them when their sugar content is higher with the aim of producing heavier, fruity wines. Although Barbera can thrive in most places where grapes are grown, it does better in soils which are less calcareous and also those which have clay. If planted in sandy soils, its yields are poor .It does not also do well in soils which are highly alkaline or saline.
How Barbera Wines Are Made
Barbera grapes are used to make many types of blended and varietal wines. These wines range from medium bodied to fruity wines. There are some intense ones that have to be aged. Barbera wines have a characteristic deep ruby color, average tannin levels and a moderate amount of acidity. Oak barrels have been used by winemakers to give the wine some extra flavor and tannic structure. Vibrant aromas and cherry notes are characteristics of wines hat are made with older and more neutral oak.
Foods to Pair With Barbera Wine
In Oceania, Barbera wine is best served with roasted herb –crusted lamb rack while in Europe, it’ s best paired with vegetable casserole and seared rabbit livers. Americans love pairing it with crumbled beef minalesa and turkey chili. The most popular Barbera wine blends are Barbera sangiovese and Barbera –Nebbiolo.